Around 600 million persons worldwide have some form of kidney damage. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), predicted to increase by 17% over the next decade, is now recognised as a global public health issue.
If detected early and managed appropriately, the deterioration in kidney function can be slowed or even stopped – yet awareness of kidney diseases is still very low and many people underestimate the vital role their kidneys play.
Tomorrow,13 March 2014, is the ninth World Kidney Day, an annual day of global action jointly organised by the International Society of Nephrology (ISN) and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations (IFKF).
Why is world kidney day celebrated?
World Kidney Day (WKD) is the most widely celebrated event focused on kidney health across the globe.
Most of all, it is the yearly occasion to raise awareness about the dangers of kidney disease and to send a clear message to the general public and governments that CKD is common, harmful, but treatable.
In the words of WKD Steering Committee ISN Co-chair Prof John Feehally: “Our mission is to stimulate awareness, discussion, education and policy development leading to improved prevention and treatment of CKD.
Read: Losing some weight will help your kidneys
What makes this year different?
This year’s theme is CKD and ageing: about half of people aged 75 or more have some degree of CKD. We want them to be smart about their kidneys by taking a simple blood and urine test to detect CKD early. Our message to the general public is: talk to your doctor.”
Did you know that kidney's can age?
Kidneys age, just like you. About 1 in 10 people has some degree of CKD. Kidney disease can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.
Although CKD can occur at any age, it becomes more common with increasing age. After the age of 40, kidney filtration begins to fall by approximately 1% per year.
On top of the natural ageing of the kidneys, many conditions which damage the kidneys are more common in older people, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
This is important because CKD increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, and in some cases can progress to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or transplantation.
How you can make a difference on Kidney Day?
On World Kidney Day, have a glass of water. On World Kidney Day, the whole civil society, governments, health professionals and patients around the globe are invited to start their day with a glass of water and to encourage their families, friends and co-worker to do the same.
This symbolic gesture brings a powerful connection with a common and simple act to get everyone to think about their kidneys. Water may protect your kidneys; there is however no scientific rationale behind this idea, since there is no firm evidence that drinking water lowers one's risk for CKD.
Read: Being overweight puts you at risk for kidney disease
The WKD Steering Committee IFKF Co-chair, Prof. Guillermo Garcia Garcia encourages everyone to support World Kidney Day: "Drinking a glass of water will not cure your kidneys, but will certainly help you to remember that you need to take care of them.
Join the revolution!
So join us on 13 March 2014 and start your day by drinking a glass of water, and hopefully this act will be a powerful reminder in the future."
A Global Online Campaign: This year our campaign has a stellar presence online where all participants globally can show their support and engage in the fight against CKD.
For more information and details of events around the globe in celebration of World Kidney Day, please visit http://www.worldkidneyday.org
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